December 19, 2014

Higher Education in Florida

Higher Ed: Non-Profits, For-Profits and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Cynthia Barnett | 6/29/2011

Keiser Goes Non-Profit

Keiser University
[Photo: Keiser University]

In 1977, mother and son Evelyn and Arthur Keiser founded a for-profit career college in a storefront near Fort Lauderdale to cater to students seeking careers in healthcare. Over time, the Keiser School morphed into an Institute of Technology, then Keiser College, and finally, Keiser University, along the way earning SACS accreditation in 1991 and offering bachelor's and master's degrees.

Today, Keiser offers everything from a doctorate in educational leadership to an associate degree in golf management on 14 Florida campuses and sites in Shanghai and Moldova. Its biggest impact on the state's private college community may have come earlier this year, however, when the Keiser family transitioned the company to a non-profit.

Belinda Keiser, vice chancellor of community relations and student advancement and the wife of CEO Arthur Keiser and former chair of Workforce Florida, positions the change as "our way of continuing the school after the family is gone."

Scott A. Cihak
Belinda Keiser

The move also eliminates the company's tax burden. More important to the other non-profits, it makes Keiser's Florida students eligible for Florida Resident Access Grants — diluting the pool of FRAG funds available to students at the other schools. Lawmakers agreed to bring the university's students under the grant in phases, adding a $4-million line item for Keiser in this year's state budget.

Non-profit status also deflects ongoing federal and state scrutiny of for-profit schools. The U.S. Department of Education is threatening to restrict federal dollars to for-profits, which rely on federal grants and student loans for up to 90% of revenue. At Keiser, it's 75%.

Full Sail University
Full Sail University, an entertainment media school [Photo: Full Sail University]

For-Profit Colleges & Universities - The Top 5, Ranked by Enrollment
Rank Institution Main Campus Location Enrollment
Fall 2010
University of Phoenix Orlando 21,600
Everest University Tampa 10,924
Full Sail University Winter Park 5,476
DeVry University Orlando 4,514
5 Rasmussen College Holiday 3,982

Florida's For-Profit Colleges & Universities

Florida Colleges

The full list of 18 For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Florida is available for download in Excel format. The list includes additional data not published in Florida Trend -- including locations, tuition, phone, fax, website, full school address and more. Cost: $19

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